Portrayal of Women in The Odyssey Essay Sample

August 4, 2017 General Studies

In Homer’s Odyssey. the adult females are portrayed in many different ways. some are said to be wise while others are barbarous. but many are treated otherwise from the opposite gender. One of the adult females in the narrative. Penelope. was portrayed as really wise but because of her gender she was expected to obey many of the work forces. Similarly to Penelope. Arete. queen of the Phaeacians. was every bit wise but was viewed about as an equal to the work forces. In contrast to the other two adult females. Melantho was really malicious and was treated likewise to the work forces in the terminal of the book.

To get down. Penelope was considered to be highly wise. but was expected to listen and follow with many of the work forces. To avoid going married. Penelope used her wisdom to invent a fast one to maintain the Suitors from coercing her to take one of them. In book two. it is stated. “…she began weaving a big and delicate piece of work…for Lord Laertes…by twenty-four hours she used to weave at the great web. but every dark had torches set beside it and undid the work. ” This clearly shows that she was cleverer than the Suitors. and besides that she applied her wisdom for her family’s benefit. However. despite her wisdom Penelope. because of her sex. was expected to obey many people of the opposite gender. This is proven in book 21 when it says. “‘As for the bow. female parent. ’ astute Telemachus interposed… ‘is the men’s concern. and mine above all ; for I am the maestro in this house…so travel to your quarters now and go to to your ain work’…” This shows that Penelope was required to obey most work forces. including her ain boy who was still excessively immature to take over Odysseus’ place in the house. Clearly. although Penelope was wiser than many work forces. she was still expected to follow with their orders.

Similarly to Penelope. Arete who was the queen of Phaeacia. was really wise. but unlike Penelope was treated about as an equal to the work forces. Odysseus was instructed by Athene when he went into Alcinous’ topographic point to talk with Arete foremost because she would do certain Odysseus would make his place once more. Book seven supports this in lines 72-78. “For she is besides a wise woman…so if merely you can procure her friendly involvement. you may good trust to see your friends one time more. to return to the high roof of your ain house and to your native land. ” This clearly shows that Arete was really wise and had much influence on the people of Phaeacia in order to be able to vouch Odysseus a transition to Ithaca. Contrary to Penelope. Arete was treated about as an equal to the work forces of her state. This is proven in the same book when it states. “…and when her understandings are enlisted she settles even men’s differences. ” Obviously. this shows that she was treated likewise to work forces otherwise they would likely non let or welcome her to settle their statements. Arete was clearly treated better than most adult females of her clip and was besides given recognition to her wisdom by many of the work forces of her state.

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Melantho. one of Penelope’s amahs. was unlike Arete and her kept woman. because she was really barbarous. and in the terminal of the book she was treated likewise to the Suitors. Melantho had no regard or understanding for Penelope even though her kept woman had treated her as her ain kid. This is supported by the narrative when it says.

“But Melantho of the pretty cheeks jeered at him outrageously. She was a girl of Dolius. whom Penelope had reared and looked after every bit tenderly as her ain child… . But in malice of Penelope’s sufferings ; she was in love with Eurymachus…Melantho now renewed her maltreatment of Odysseus. ‘Still here…to pestilence us all dark long’…Wise Penelope. who had listened. rounded on the amah with a rebuke… ‘I am non incognizant of your scandalous behavior and you shall pay in a heartfelt way for it. For you knew absolutely good – you heard me say so myself – that in my ever-present hurt I meant to oppugn this alien here in my house for any intelligence he might hold of my hubby. ‘”

This shows that Melantho. despite Penelope’s wants. had made merriment of Odysseus and was a lover of Eurymachus. which was really unpatriotic and unsympathetic. At the terminal the book. Melantho along with the other unpatriotic amahs were treated likewise to the Suitors. Book 22 supports this when it states. “…Odysseus looked round his house to see whether any subsisters were concealing to get away black Death. But he found the whole company lying in tonss in the blood and dust…Then the thoughtful Telemachus radius. ‘I swear I will non give a nice decease to adult females who have heaped abuses on my caput and on my mother’s. and slept with the Suitors. ‘” This shows that all the Suitors were killed and the unpatriotic amahs were besides killed by an indecorous decease despite their gender. Clearly. although Melantho was a adult female she was treated no
otherwise from the Suitors because of her unreliable offenses.

In decision. adult females in The Odyssey were normally treated otherwise from the opposite gender and were portrayed in many different ways. For illustration. Penelope devised many fast ones to lead on her suers but was treated inferior to the work forces in the narrative. Arete was revered by her society because of her wisdom and was even called upon to settle men’s differences which was really uncommon in that clip. Finally. Melantho was really different from the other adult females in the narrative because she was unpatriotic every bit good as unwise and was still killed in an indecorous decease despite her gender.


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